A historic brewery and pub giant has warned the cost of living crisis has replaced Covid-19 as its most "significant challenge".
Salford-headquartered Hydes Brewery said "high inflation levels, rising interest rates and soaring energy costs will put significant pressure on consumer spending and potentially therefore the number of visits to hospitality venues".
The comments were made in newly-filed documents with Companies House for its financial year to April 2, 2022, which reveal its turnover bounced back to near pre-pandemic levels.
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The accounts show the group's turnover increased from £8.5m to £28.3m during the year while it went from a pre-tax loss of £3.8m to a profit of £1.9m.
Hydes Brewery was founded in 1863 and owns 33 managed and 14 tenanted pubs in the North West of England and North Wales.
A statement signed off by the board said: "Despite another year characterised by significant and evolving external challenges our colleagues have worked tirelessly and with great adaptability to deliver an excellent set of results.
"Sales were again significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. Lockdown, outdoor only trading and Omicron fears, around the critical Christmas trading period, all took their toll.
"In addition, recruitment challenges and supply chain shortages led to some of the most difficult trading environments our industry has ever had to endure.
"So to have arrived at our financial year end with lower debt levels than 12 months prior and recording profits higher than the year immediately before the pandemic is very pleasing.
"Whilst the threat of Covid-19 appears to have reduced, we are now faced with another significant challenge in the form of the cost of living crisis.
"High inflation levels, rising interest rates and soaring energy costs will put significant pressure on consumer spending and potentially therefore the number of visits to hospitality venues.
"Pleasingly though, in many areas, and in particular on energy costs, we have had the foresight to offset some of the business-related cost pressures through longer term contracts.
"Our energy pricing is fixed until 2024 and this will help Hydes continue to provide our customers with great value and quality in our pubs in the months ahead."
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